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Posts tagged ‘easter ideas’

Wines for your Easter Feast

As the sommelier for per se, in New York City, Anani Lawson is responsible for selecting wines for some of the world’s most discriminating palates. He also runs the wine education program for the restaurant’s world class staff. And before per se, Anani worked at The French Laundry for nine years!

Anani Lawson, Sommelier at Per Se

For someone with such a prestigious position (and service record), Anani is one of the nicest, most genuine people we know. His passion for wine and food is apparent in everything he does and his joie de vivre is infectious! His warm, service-driven, straight-forward approach gives guests a feeling of accesibility, which is why we asked him to create some convivial pairings for our Easter menu. These are his suggestions…

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Appetizers

Truffle Butter Gougères

Pierre Gimonnet, Cuis, Premier Cru MV

Anani says: “Ethereal, floral in style, notes of acacia and a little nut, this certainly has plenty of character. The palate is very feminine, starting off quite soft and pillowy, but then revealing a sharp mousse in the background and a good acid backbone. This wine is rounded and very harmonious.”

Schramsberg, “Blanc de Blancs,” Napa Valley 2007

Anani says: “It displays tart green apples, pineapple and lemongrass, with a honeyed nutty edge. Tropical and tangy on the palate, with layers of lemon cream, pineapple and buttery toast, it finishes with a hint of sweetness but plenty of acidity.”

Deviled Quail Eggs Three Ways:

Bacon & Thyme, Porcini & Parmesan, Caviar & Crème Fraiche

Schloss Gobelsburg, Grüner Veltliner, “Steinsetz,” Kamptal 2010

Anani says: “Is the classical full-bodied Grüner Veltliner with mineral flavours and the typical spicy element as well as natural acidity.”

Domaine Weinbach, Riesling, “Cuvée Ste. Catherine-Linedit,” Schlossberg, Grand Cru 2008

Anani says: “This Riesling offers powdered sugar on the nose, even some cinnamon toast. Very spicy vanilla bean and white chocolate. Powerful fruit, very candied; sweet yet racy acids. Fantastic balance. Sweet and sour lemon confit on the finish.”

Jermann, Pinot Grigio, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia 2009

Anani says: “An intense straw yellow colour with a faint tinge of old rose. Beautifully pure, elegant, floral Pinot Grigio. The bouquet is full and fruity. A touch of almonds and vanilla, a hint of fruit and spice on the palate, a smooth and dry full-bodied white which is particularly harmonious and accessible.”

Asparagus Tartlets with Jambon de Bayonne

 Merry Edwards, Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley 2010

Anani says: “The aroma is floral and mouth¬watering, layered with ripe melon, peach and subtle mineral highlights. In the mouth, it is rich and seamlessly well balanced, kicking in a hint of grapefruit, citrus and pear on the lingering finish.”

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The Main Event

Menu #1: Lamb Loin with Leeks and Truffle Honey Vinaigrette, Duck Fat Roasted New Potatoes, Roasted Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms, Bibb Salad with Peas & Radish, Lemon Vinaigrette

Kaizen, Grenache, Sonoma County 2009

Anani says: “The aromatics are layered with blackberry, roasted meat, bittersweet chocolate, gunflint, and lavender. The sweet blackberry entry opens to more dark chocolate, blueberry, black pepper, soft earthy  minerality mouth-filling tannins.”

Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino 2006

Anani says: “The bouquet is intense, fruit-forward, spicy and floral with hints of red berry fruits enriched by delicate spicy notes. Warm, soft and very well balanced on the palate; structured with soft tannins and long aftertaste.”

Ramey, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2007

Anani says: “This cabernet boasts a dense purple color as well as a big, sweet bouquet of blueberry and black currant fruit intertwined with licorice, bay leaf, cedar and fruitcake notes. It’s full-bodied and opulent.”

Menu #2: Glazed Applewood Smoked Heritage Ham, Yukon Gold Potato Gratin with Morels, French Green Beans with Citrus Butter and Tarragon, Duck Fat Biscuits

Albert Boxler, Pinot Gris “Brand,” Grand Cru 2008

Anani says: “Color: bright; Nose: complex; Acidity: crisp; Overall: elegant; great wine….honeysuckle, mango, floral….. superb wine…”

Patz & Hall, Pinot Noir “Hyde Vineyard,” Carneros 2009

Anani says: “Seductive aromas of cherry, kirsch and bittersweet chocolate, segue to red fruit flavors of raspberry, cranberry and framboise, with hints of char and cocoa in this Pinot. The 07 vintage is big and rich with a palate of soft, coating tannins, while still displaying elegant acid balance and a vibrant charm.”

On the menu: Easter mains & sides!

So yesterday, we gave you some ideas and recipes for Easter appetizers. (Mmmmm… black truffle gougeres!) Today, we’re all about classic main dishes and comforting, family-friendly sides. We broke our suggestions down into two menus that can also be mixed and matched, if you desire.

Our first menu features Lamb as the centerpiece. Our boneless lamb loin is super easy to prepare and no matter how you cook it, turns out tender and juicy. Tangy spring leeks make the perfect foil to a sweet, truffle honey vinaigrette. We paired the lamb with potatoes roasted in duck fat (our secret weapon!) and rounded out the meal with smoky maitake mushrooms and a crisp bibb lettuce salad.

lamb loin with leeks, duck fat potatoes, bibb salad with radish, maitake mushrooms

Menu #1

Lamb Loin with Leeks and Truffle Honey Vinaigrette

Potatoes Crisped in Duck Fat

Pan Roasted Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms

Spring Salad with Peas, Radishes and Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette

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Our second menu shines the light on a perennial Easter favorite, our Applewood Smoked Heritage Hams. We did the work for you – our hand-crafted hams are fully-cooked and need little adornment. We just brushed on a simple glaze made with apricot preserves, mustard and bourbon and heated through. Dried morels give decadent pommes dauphinois an earthy edge, while citrusy green beans and duck fat biscuits finish the table.

glazed ham, duck fat biscuits, citrus tarragon green beans, yukon gold morel mushroom gratin

 Menu #2

Apricot-Bourbon Glazed Applewood Smoked Heritage Ham

Yukon Gold Potato Gratin with Morels

Green Beans with Tarragon and Citrus Butter

Duck Fat Biscuits

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Come back for tomorrow’s post! It’s all about the perfect wines to pair with your Easter feast, with suggestions and tasting notes from one of America’s Top Sommeliers, Anani Lawson of per se in New York City. This is one you do not want to miss.

Easter Appetizers D’Artagnan Style

Still planning your Easter feast? We’re here to help!

This year, we’ve put together a sample menu of fabulous spring recipes for your Easter table. Today’s post puts the spotlight on appetizers.

First up, our Black Truffle Butter Gougeres.

Light-as-air puffs with a moist interior, these truffle-flecked gougeres will disappear fast – so make a bunch!  We adapted this tried-and-true recipe from Daniel Boulud’s cookbook, Cocktails & Amuses-Bouches for Him & Her.

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Teeny deviled quail eggs are not only delicious but a great conversation starter. Here are three crowd-pleasing variations that start with the same basic ingredients and technique then veer off in completely different directions – trust us, there’s one for every taste!

Deviled Quail Eggs with Bacon & Thyme

These little beauties have a satisfying smoky bite from the addition of our Uncured Hickory Smoked Bacon. Fresh thyme balances the richness.

Deviled Quail Eggs with Porcini & Parmesan

Don’t let their size fool you – these mini eggs are umami-bombs. Our Porcini Powder lends an earthy richness while the soft bed of microplaned parmesan gives them a stable resting spot and another layer of flavor.

Deviled Quail Eggs with D’Artagnan Caviar

A swirl of creme fraiche makes these deviled eggs silky smooth, but the real star of this dish is our exclusive Caviar D’Aquitaine.

An Easter meal just isn’t complete without some early spring vegetables. Adapted from one of our favorite Martha Stewart recipes,  this easy-to-make Asparagus Tart with Jambon de Bayonne is piled high with ribbons of tender-crisp asparagus and topped with a sprinkling of salty Gruyere. Our version has a hidden layer of Bayonne Ham that puts it over the edge. Delicious!

Are you hungry yet?!

We’re not finished! Tomorrow we’ll cover classic Easter main courses and comforting side dishes. On Friday, we’ll tie it all together with some convivial wine pairings from one of America’s top sommeliers!

Stay tuned!